Dear Old DadSometimes I think that dads get the short end of the stick. If moms get a more automatic dose of our warm and fuzzy feelings, dads may be the disciplinarians or the ones further in the background. But we need dads! We appreciate them! Their role is so important in the family, in relationships, in the work environment. Though we rarely speak of dads juggling work and home, they too feel the crunch of time as they make their way in the workplace as well as find time for their children so the relationship can be strong.

I have no regrets, but I have sometimes wondered whether I’ve lived my father’s dream instead of my own. I didn’t plan it, but work became a way for me to bond with my father.

I had an unusual situation because I went into my dad’s business, real estate. I had always worked—whether flipping burgers or selling clothes in a boutique—but I wasn’t getting going on a real career. My dad said, “Come work for me until you figure it out.” So I did. Would I have chosen real estate as my life’s work? Unlikely. But I could come aboard his established business and carve out a niche that fit me.

My dad was smart. I felt lucky to learn the business from him. He kept me busy learning everything there was to know about real estate, so I had no time to get bored. One of the best things he instilled in me was a good work ethic.

I have no regrets, but I have sometimes wondered whether I’ve lived my father’s dream instead of my own. I didn’t plan it, but work became a way for me to bond with my father. I loved to clean and cook with my mom—that was our bonding. I still make all the traditional Sicilian foods: homemade pasta, rolled onto bamboo sticks and set out to dry, fig and nut cookies, and other wonderful treats from my childhood. With my dad, it was learning the business and seeing him in action.

When we’re young, many of us focus on the negative things about our parents and vow never to be like them. We may forget about the good qualities they have, what they’ve shown us, how they have loved us, provided for us, always been there for us (for those of us lucky enough to have all that). Like it or not, we’re probably going to pick up both their good and bad qualities. I’ve learned to embrace the good ones. In a way I feel I have internalized each parent and I am proud to keep those qualities alive.

I haven’t become my dad, but I have taken his strength and other good qualities and made them my own.

In the last two years of my dad’s life I took care of him, so I spent a lot more time with him than I had in a while. That’s when I really noticed how similar we are. He had a sharp, authoritative business mind—it was often his way or no way, and I have to admit that there are times when I feel like a drill sergeant. But I learned how to soften him and communicate so he was able to understand me and I was able to get what I needed from him. I haven’t become my dad, but I have taken his strength and other good qualities and made them my own.

A lot of who I am today is because of my dad. So on Father’s Day I would like to say, “Thanks, Dad, for everything you taught me that made me who I am today.”

Happy Father’s Day to each of you!

Rose
Rose Caiola
Inspired. Rewired.

1 Comment

  • Pamela
    Posted June 11, 2013 5:06 pm 0Likes

    Lovely post!

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